Chocolate is a product of cocoa tree beans and it is a good source of the naturally occurring antioxidant elements called flavonoids. Flavonols are the main kind of flavonoids found in chocolate, and they are responsible for a number of health benefits. Chocolate is actually a classic food and was originally a beverage that was established as early as 400 B.C. in Central America by the Olmecs. The use of chocolate was continued for a long time and this delicious bean was considered a great beverage that could build up resistance and fight fatigue. Today, people enjoy chocolate in many forms, including cakes, beverage and bars, and the medical field has uncovered its many benefits. Chocolate can improve mood and brain functioning according to various researches made to review the health benefits of chocolate.
According to a study by University of Nottingham researchers, chocolate is linked to an improved brain performance in that it may sharpen the mind and provide a boost of cognitive skills. Other studies have concluded that chocolate and cocoa powder have a high percentage of flavonoids, which display a number of beneficial effects on the brain. The flavonoids found in cocoa can hinder the dying of brain cells by delivering blood to the capillaries. This can help in creating new blood vessels.
Chocolate plays a major role in increasing blood flow to particular areas of the brain, which leads to an improved brain performance for several hours. A research by Ian Macdonald, a professor at University of Nottingham showed that the cerebral blood vessels dilated after consuming flavanol-rich chocolate, which allowed more oxygenated blood to get to the main areas of the brain. It is concluded that this increase in activity from chocolate can be linked to possible solutions for fighting fatigue and effects of aging.
The element that is linked to the above mentioned effects is Epicatechin, the major flavonoid found in cocoa. The content of Epicatechin has been reported to be high in dark chocolate and its levels are said to be affected negatively by variables in chocolate making processes, for example, roasting temperatures. Research has shown that there is a positive link between consumption of high flavanol chocolate and cocoa products, and improved brain performance. When these products are consumed regularly, the memory gains the ability to complete memory-related tasks with less effort.
Chocolate intake also has an impact on your mood. Consuming chocolate might help improve your mood, which is useful, especially if you are suffering from depression or stress. Chocolate can increase endorphins and serotonin in your brain. These two chemicals play a role in stimulating feelings of pleasure and a healthy mood. For that reason, you might feel peaceful or happy when you eat chocolate. Besides, a regular consumption of dark chocolate is linked to an improvement of cognitive performance in the aged.
However, it should be noted that the way in which the chocolate is processed has an effect on how much it will activate the brain. In the cocoa bean processing, some key polyphenols are destroyed and this leads to a reduction on the bean’s positive effects. Dark chocolate, which is high in flavanol content, is known to help in promoting brain performance by increasing the efficiency of particular brain functions.
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